June 11th, 2013 June NYTM
On Tuesday, June 11, 2013, OLC attended New York Tech Meetup’s monthly event held at NYU’s Skirball Theater. There were 10 presenters in attendance: 1 Second Everyday, Fundelevator, Funding Community, Magic Story Maker, Open Garden, Posse, See.Me, Stash, Tribeca Cloud and a special Hack of the Month by a data editor from the Huffington Post.
Stash was first to present. Stash is like Pinterest for events. Users can create a collection of events that they can go—or want to go to—in the future. “We want to create the inside scoop, not be a city guide,” the representative said. Stash is a mobile social discovery app that makes events easy to find locally. The app is feed-based, visual and fun. Interesting events are added to the user’s stash by favoriting events that they might be interested in. The events themselves are packaged with a lot of information, starting with the geolocation of the event, the hours and the ability to make reservations through OpenTable at restaurants. Events can also be imported from iCal and Facebook and they can be created with free text or emails. Stash adds information to data pulled from the calendar to make it more user experience friendly.
Funding Community is the first US crowdfunding platform for small businesses. Funding Community is where anyone can help fund a business. It makes businesses pay interest, but also makes businesses reward lenders—who all are ultimately future customers for the business. Funding Community acts as a platform to support small businesses. Lenders can start with lending $25 to $1,000 and can share on social media where they’ve lent money. When loans are met, the money is paid back to the lenders with interest every month. If the goal is not met, the money is returned to the accounts of the lenders.
Next to present was See.Me. See.Me brings passion on an online platform to a global audience. Creatives of all types from around the world share their work with the world.
It’s about supporting artists—a social network for creatives. Users can support artists and give monetary contributions. Artists are currently using See.Me to sell tickets to shows, music, photographs and more. Their goal is to grow See.Me and to help artics connect with each other.
Posse is from Australia, which started as a social network for music, but it pivoted to become a social network of shops and people. With Posse, shops get new customers and people find new shops in return. Posse uses playlists, but instead of music playlists, it uses a “Shop Playlist”. It also makes it easy for business owners to see who is saying positive things about the shop. Business owners get emails from customers, which make it easy for the owners to give gifts in return to customers that give positive feedback.
Owners also get a lot information about customers that have visited and those that do want to visit. Users of Posse get new places to search for by recommendations from friends for when they visit new places. Posse signed up over 4,000 merchants in New York City, but they only want to sign up businesses that people actually love. They’ve signed up 30,000 in Australia.
Magic Story Maker is the brainchild of the creator of CouchCachet. What Magic Story Maker does, is provide a platform that puts children to sleep—not the parent. It pulls news articles from USA Today and gives four titles as options for the child to choose from. The news article is put into a storybook format, even including pictures that have been pre-rendered.
Fund Elevator is a niche crowdfunding platform for charities and politicians. There are thousands of charities currently operating today and through Fund Elevator, they are all visible to a potential donator. Users can search for charities using location, trending charities, favorites. Donations can be made via monetary contributions of through volunteering (time) and they can bid on experiences or items. Fund Elevator also lets users donate money to politicians. It addresses the problem of where the money is coming from to help the campaign. With Fund Elevator, the politicians priorities, events, causes and a forum for questions are readily visible on one page. It allows users to be a catalyst for change.
The Hack of the Month belonged to Huffington Post’s data journalism. From the media coverage of the Newtown shootings, the Huffington Post gathered data regarding isolated gun-related deaths and aggregated them in a visual manner. Although it was a small sample of what was really going on, it impacted the audience in a somber and sobering mood. There is no real-time data about statistics in law enforcement. With this big-data journalism, the collected data is aggregated on Google Docs and string comparisons remove errors from the data. Hopefully, this triggers law enforcement to move towards real-time optimized statistics.
Tribeca Cloud is a frictionless, easy web platform that sets up a cloud server in almost no time at all. It recommends the ideal web platform for the user and deploys it all for the user in a few simple clicks. Tribeca Cloud makes it easy to deploy open-source content on the cloud. The platform works like this: Get a recommendation from Tribeca Cloud, get cloud hosting, answer a series of questions to determine the type of web servers that the user needs, and Tribeca Cloud gives the user reasons why the selected server and platform is given. It does hand holding from start to finish. The dashboard is very visual and removes IT department from the equation.
One Second Everyday, funded through Kickstarter, developed its own mobile app to facilitate recording and editing videos of the user’s life. The video editor is based off of Final Cut Pro. The videos can be compiled into a one six-minute long clip and is created in 1080p. The video can then be shared on social. It also allows for the user to set reminders to make sure that an event is captured on film, for that one second memory during that particular day.
Open Garden was built to share mobile internet for free. It crowdsources connectivity. Open Garden connects to wifi and users can get stronger connections using Open Garden’s mesh network. It’s free and they currently boast 2.5 million installs today. The latest feature of Open Garden enables faster internet speed and stronger signals in crowd gatherings. The more people on the network, the faster it becomes.